Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
Saturday 25th April
Robert Jenrick , Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
- The Government has now tested over 1 million people for the coronavirus, after achieving its goal of conducting 100,000 tests per day on Friday.
- Jenrickconfirmed that the prime minister will unveil plans on how lockdown measures will be eased next week.
- Jenricknoted that lockdown measures impacted vulnerable people disproportionately, highlighting the victims of domestic abuse as a group in need of further support. He announced a new package of over £76 million that will support victims through further funding for counsellors and domestic abuse charities.
- He highlighted rough sleepers as another group vulnerable to the virus, noting that over 90 per cent of rough sleepers known to councils had been offered accommodation during the pandemic.
- He announced that Dame Louise Casey had been appointed to lead a new taskforce which will provide “physical and mental health support” to rough sleepers during the lockdown. The taskforce will also seek to provide permanent housing solutions for rough sleepers after the pandemic ends.
- He said that packages for the 1 million shielded vulnerable people would be provided in the next few days.
Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
- Harries appeared to confirm the Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK has “passed the peak”.
- Harries said that even though motor transport use had seen some increase, she noted that other reports indicated that the number of social interactions was still low and stable.
- She highlighted that over 105,000 tests had been conducted in the previous 24 hours.
- She said that all patients coming in to NHS hospitals were now being tested.
- Harries told the press that the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 had fallen by 13 per cent over the previous week.
- She said that the death rate was now decreasing “very slowly and very gradually”.
Sunday 26th April
Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
- Gove said that over 70,000 people had been tested for coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
- He said that 20, 446 had now sadly lost their lives due to the coronavirus across all settings.
- Gove pointed to the plans that will be unveiled by the prime minister later this week, which will detail how lockdown measures will be eased.
- He noted that the Government was consulting with unions to discuss how workers would be able to return to the workplace safely.
- He said that the procurement of more PPE would be “vital” in allowing people to return to work.
- Gove announced that new test, track and trace procedures would be piloted on the Isle of Wight, before being rolled out across the country later this month.
Professor Stephen Powis , Medical Director for NHS England
- Powishighlighted statistics indicating that mobility in public places was down in all settings by at least 30 per cent.
- He noted that the number of people tested for coronavirus had dipped over the weekend but added that capacity would only increase further.
- He added that although testing number had increased, the number of positive tests had not increased proportionately. He said that this indicated a declining rate of infection.
- Portugal will today see the beginning of a gradual lockdown exit with small shops, hairdressers and car dealerships reopening across the country. Other non-essential businesses such as bars, restaurants and museums are set to open slightly later on , on the 18 th of May.
- President of the United State, Donald Trump, has told Fox News that he is “very confident” that a vaccine for the virus will be found before the year is out.
- Japan is set to see its state of emergency extended for a further month amid concern that a second wave would overwhelm Tokyo hospitals. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned of a “drawn out battle” against the virus, after announcing an extension to lockdown measure which were set to end this Wednesday.
- The British Medical Association have advised that age alone should not determine people’s ability to go about their daily lives when the Government begins easing the lockdown restrictions , calling for healthy over-70s to be allowed the same mobility as those younger than them.
- Transport unions Aslef , the RMT and the TSSA have written an open letter to the Transport Secretary, noting “severe concerns” over plans to increase rail services in the coming weeks as lockdown eases. The letter notes that there is currently no plan to be able to increase services while also maintaining social distancing.
- Matt Hancock is said to be launching the UK’s testing and tracing program at tonight’s press conference. At around 5.00pm, the Health Secretary will reportedly unveil his plans for a South Korean-style “test, track and trace” scheme which will pinpoint all news outbreak s of the disease and prevent a second peak.
- The Sun has reported that Tuesday 26 May has been provisionally scheduled to be the day on which much of the UK’s non-essential workforce could return to work. However, reports indicate that this will not include workers in the hospitality sector, who will have to wait a further few months before heading back in.
- According to the Telegraph , primary schools could open as early as 1 June. Over the weekend, Transport Secretary told Andrew Marr that reopening schools was one of the Government’s priorities, but was reluctant in offering any tentative date of return .
- ‘Immunity passports’ could provide a possibility for workers who have already had coronavirus to return to work earlier than those who have not . Tech firm Onfido is said to be working with the Government to develop plans which could be rolled out across the country.